Good evening. My dear friends and fellow colleagues, I stand here today
humbled by the honor, grateful for the trust you’ve bestowed, and
mindful of the work done by the predecessors in last 50 years. This
milestone of 50 years is a moment to look back to look ahead, learn from
the past and plan for the future. I thank Dr CP Bansal and Dr Sailesh
Gupta for the kind cooperation provided in handing over the baton.
As Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) continues to
work towards reduction of the child mortality, there is yet another
emerging challenge of antimicrobial resistance that we face today.
Conventional treatments are failing, costs have gone up and we are
amidst a man-made crisis with limited new agents in pipeline. IAP has an
important role and responsibility here. A 5-year plan has been drawn to
promote rational antimicrobial therapy. The modules on Rational
Antibiotic Practice (RAP) and Pediatric tuberculosis (TB) are the main
components of the project. A Training of Trainers workshop on RAP was
conducted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014. I am sure the committed
trainers will disseminate it all over the country conducting RAP
workshops. A national consultative meeting will be held with the aim to
frame a policy document for the country on Rational Antibiotic Therapy
in children. We have to educate and make the general public aware of the
problem. We plan to celebrate the antibiotic day on September 26 of
every year, the day when penicillin was invented, and antibiotic week. A
conference exclusively on antibiotics – the Antibiocon – is on
The last five years have seen an alarming rise in
drug resistant tuberculosis. IAP plans to actively participate in TB
control in collaboration with the Child TB Division of Ministry of
Health and Family Welfare and Revised National Tuberculosis Control
Programme. The experts are developing a module; workshops and
interactive case discussions will be held across the country. Through
these workshops, the pediatricians can get trained in clinical,
diagnostic and programmatic issues related to TB.
Nutrition is a core pillar of child development. IAP
will focus on child nutrition in a big way with a module exclusively on
nutrition in health and disease to lay the foundation of life-long
healthy living. We have successfully launched this module on January 8,
2014, which also serves to train the pediatricians to address the common
dietary issues raised by the concerned mothers.
IAP has conceptualized launch of a new vaccine, a
novel psychological vaccine of emotional intelligence in the form of
workshop on Promoting emotional intelligence. This would preserve and
foster the child’s psychological wellbeing, which appears to define
success and happiness in life more than mere high intelligence quotient.
Other important modules we are working on are: neuroimaging for a
general pediatrician, and vitamin D and calcium metabolism.
It is important that we keep abreast with the current
medical updates, and it is now mandatory also by the various state
councils to do so. May 2014 be a year of web revolution where the
knowledge disseminated through lectures, conferences, CMEs can reach the
unreached like those in rural areas who find it difficult to travel to
the venue of conference, or practitioners who can not afford to leave
behind their patient care. Students from any corner of the country can
participate in case discussions being conducted by experienced teachers
from a few select centers of the country. IAP wants to take full
advantage of this web technology so that all the pediatricians come
closer and grow stronger academically, and in practice.
IAP always has played an important role in the
advocacy of immunization. Immunization and Adverse Events Following
Immunization along with disease surveillance initiated by the IAP under
the IAP infectious diseases surveillance program – ‘idsurv’ – has
been lauded by the ‘National Center for Disease Control’ and ‘Integrated
Disease Surveillance Project’. The epidemiological data will help the
policy makers of the country to plan interventions. We need to now
consolidate further by moving beyond mere sensitization of the members
and collect some meaningful data.
IAP ‘Mission Uday’ project, in its 2nd year,
needs to focus on the select districts and generate some useful data.
Major under-five killers – diarrhea and pneumonia – need to be tackled
with more realistic measures. Advocacy needs to be translated into
action at field level and it will happen only when the IAP members move
out of their chambers and join hands with the fractured public health
network in making the health care and health education reach the
unreached rural India
IAP, like any large and expanding organization, is
facing the challenge of a potential internal crisis with conflicting
ideas and complex issues but we will continue to focus on the goals that
we have set. My appeal to all the members is:
"Wherever you come from or whatever position you
hold, your action needs to be unified with the rest of the academy to
accomplish the bigger picture of service to child health. If personal
successes take over the interests of the academy, there will only be a
deleterious loss of focus. My earnest appeal to all is to repose your
faith in the organization, to not drift away from the values and goals
that the academy stand for today in the eyes of the world."
So, let us mark this day as a remembrance of the 50
glorious years of the Academy that we proudly belong to, and strive
towards passing on the pearls of knowledge and care to the future
generation of doctors and children of this country.
I will be failing in my duty if I don’t acknowledge
the 3 most important reasons why I stand here today. My brother and
bhabhi who reared me like a son, my wife Pratima and sons who
support me despite my heavy diversion of family time to work, and you my
colleagues whose immense faith has honored me this precious opportunity
to serve the academy and thereby the children of our country.